“Down we go, then? With these undisturbed cobwebs, is anyone likely to be down there?” Saeth’s vision from the rear of the party was far from perfect, but she wasn’t about to let that didn’t stop her from making suggestions.
Feldard peered into the darkness, and then to the cobwebs. The elf had a point. They were looking for the elfmaids and the Eye, not dungeon-crawling for adventure and gain. He turned to regard the party. “Miklos, you seem to be the expert on Sisters Three and the Tower here… is it worth our time to search below? Or shall we backtrack to the collapsed hall and check one of the other routes?”
Hasan stepped forward into the stairway. “Saeth’s instinct is probably right, but i have tracking lore that may help me see any recent movement more easily than you, Master Dwarf, if you would yield your place in line.” And with that, the elf moved down the stairway, no more than a dozen yards, searching for signs of recent passage. He didn’t see any. The stairway leveled off and then continued at a right angle to the east.
As Feldard started to answer, Maruc cut in. “The undead, for so I believe we are facing, may pass without disturbing dust. Do you not recall our encounter with Sevastian? Webs were srewn before his door, yet he dwelt beyond. Also I do not trust that things are what they seem down here in this darkness.” He turned back from the door. “There must be a purpose for this passageway, a secret purpose, else why place it here? I for one would like to minimise the surprises in store for us. Knowledge is our ally against the Sisters and the designs of the Darkers. My vote would be to swiftly investigate this staircase and return if we find naught of interest.”
As the priest finished, Miklos muttered, “Nice sermon.” He turned to Feldard, “I saddens me that I agree with Maruc. Leave no stone unturned in our hunt for the Sisters. He is quite correct in that spirit forms move through the Ether therefore not not affect the material world in the traditional sense. It maybe that we might gain an edge with this passageway? Onward.”
“Miklos, may I have one of you lightstones?” Nicolai said producing a small leather pouch. It still had the slit in it when he had relieved it from the possession of the fat merchant in Specularum. Now sadly empty, and never one to discard the useful he accepted the proffered stone and placed it in the pouch, he tied it. Stretching the pouch around the stone the slit allowed a little light to pour forth. Satisfied he silently held up his hand stopping the dwarf. “Give me a few moments, I shall be faster. If I do not return within a hundred breaths, follow.”
Allowing a few moment for his eye to become accustomed to the dark he allowed a trickle of light illuminate the stairs he crouched and ran his hand over the cold stone. He didn’t get the feeling that it was trapped. Waving back the others he stalked quietly and swiftly downwards into the darkness, the pale beam his only solstice.